Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Impacts of Wilderness Camping on Youth's Self-conceptions:
An Interactionist Perspective 

Bultena, G.L.
Outdoor Recreation Planning, Perspectives, and Research, Ted. L. Napier (ed.), 1981. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt.

Purpose:
Determine the effects of a wilderness camping experience on the self-concept of 12-18 year old males.

Sample:
309 males, ages 12-18.

Method/Instruments:
Method: Subjects each participated in a small group (4-10) two-week wilderness canoe-camping experience.

Instrument: Questionnaire in which each subject was asked to do the following:

  • rank each member of the group, including himself, as to his relative leadership status.
  • indicate the position in his group where he perceived most of his peers would place him.

Design: pre-test/post-test design. Subjects were given the questionnaire at the beginning and end of the trip. Variables derived from questionnaire rankings were: self-rank (individual's evaluation of his leadership standing in the group), perceived rank (leadership position each subject thought would be assigned him by his peers in the group), assigned rank (actual leadership position of the subject in his group as determined by the median rank assigned by others). Adult leaders and subjects were also asked to indicate individuals whom they thought had difficulties interacting with others on the trip.

Data Analysis: Pearson Product-Moment Correlation.

Results:

  • Subjects' self-ratings of their leadership positions relative to others in the group were significantly correlated with the perceived rankings.
  • The perceived rankings were significantly correlated with assigned ranks.
  • The self-rankings were significantly correlated with the assigned ranks.
  • Rankings remained relatively stable from pre- to post-test. Most of the shifts were limited to one rank, indicating that the leadership structures underwent only minor changes during the trips.
  • Significant correlation between changes in self-conceptions of leadership status and changes in perceived rankings from pre- to post-test.
  • Almost half of those whose self-rankings were higher than their assigned rankings were identified by one or more of their peers as having had problems getting along with others during the trip. In contrast, one third whose self and assigned rankings were congruent and 24% whose self-rankings were lower than assigned rankings were identified as having had problems getting along with others.
  • Campers whose self-rankings were higher than assigned rankings were also most frequently identified by adult leaders as having had problems getting along with others on the trip. In contrast, campers whose self-rankings were consistently lower than assigned rankings were least often identified as having had problems getting along with others.

 

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